Revealed: 2019's most commonly mispronounced words and phrases

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Prorogue and Greta Thunberg are among the words and phrases people often get wrong. [Photo: Getty

The most common mispronounced words and phrases for 2019 have been revealed.

Greta Thunberg, Chernobyl and prorogue are among the sounds Britons have struggled to get right over the past year.

This is according to research by Babbel. The language-learning app commissioned the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters to find out which words people have found hardest to pronounce in the past 12 months.

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s name has been on the tip of people’s tongues this year, due to her key role in climate change protests.

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Meanwhile, the influence of film and television is clear in the list– with people trying and failing to pronounce the name of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who starred in ‘Joker’, and the title of HBO show Chernobyl (which chronicled a nuclear disaster occurring in April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant).

Another word tripping people up this year was prorogue – a term for a temporary suspension of parliament – after the Queen prorogued Parliament in September upon Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advice.

Gilet jaunes – the name of the a French political movement (which translates to the “yellow vests” in English – was also a source of confusion for many.

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This is how they’re pronounced:

2019’s most commonly mispronounced words

Chernobyl – ‘chur-NOB-uhl’

County Fermanagh - ‘kOWn-tee fair-MEN-eh’

Eliud Kipchoge - ‘EL-yood kip-chONg’

Flygskam - ‘flEEg-skam’

Gilets jaunes - ‘zhEE-lay zhOHn’

Greta Thunberg - ‘grAY-tah tOOn-bairk’

Joaquin Phoenix - ‘hwah-kEEn fEE-nix’

Prorogue - ‘pruh-rOHg’

Siya Kolisi - ‘sEE-yah koh-lEE-see’

Typhoon Hagibis - ‘tai-fOOn hah-gEE-bis’

Earlier this year, it was announced that Frome, a town and civil parish in eastern Somerset, is the most mispronounced town in the whole of the United Kingdom. For the record, the correct pronunciation rhymes with “room”.

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